Back to the wild!

Farcrys' wonderfully immersive prehistoric setting, graphics and intuitive interplay of AI systems come close to but sadly don't completely make up for its underwhelming story arch and repetitive combat.

A beast worth taming?

Far Cry has become a favorite amongst consumers. Given the crazy and random happenstances that naturally occur with animals and humans that find themselves wandering the series’ various in-game maps, it’s not surprising to hear that there’s fun to be had in a new entry of the series. What was surprising, however, was learning that the newest title, Far Cry Primal, would be ditching franchise mainstays like guns and vehicles in favor of sharpened sticks and woolly mammoths. While there was almost certainly initial concern with these changes, the end result has come together quite well, remarkably well if truth be told.

Hunting-and-taming-beasts-is-a-gameplay-highlight

Taming beasts quickly becomes a focus of the game as a whole and as players level up and enhance their various skills, they’re better equipped to take on the threats present in the tumultuous environment. Taming the predators of Oros isn’t a challenging affair though, which admittedly makes for a disappointing endeavor more often than not. Ubisoft has tried to remedy this by implementing rare variants of a majority of the creatures, but there are so few of those creatures to begin with that the effort doesn’t truly pan out. Still, instructing a cave bear to maul hapless cavemen or taming and then riding a saber-toothed tiger are entertaining and helpful for obvious reasons all of which I’m sure go without saying.

It’s particularly fun when a hunt or assault on an enemy encampment can be foiled by the random interaction of AI systems. For instance, a bear could crash the party and you might either end up on the same side as the Izila tribesman you were about to kill two seconds earlier, or let the bear deal with the whole village. This is all too common in the wild, when something as routine as gathering wood for a hut could turn into an intense pursuit, with Takkar being chased by a couple of cave lions.

Stealth-is-an-essential-part-of-combat-dont-get-spotted-like-I-did

The most impressive aspect of the game is the world, itself. The world of Oros, which you will spend a dozen-or-so-hours inhabiting, can look (and sound) astonishing. The attention to detail here is staggering, Ubisoft’s Dunia engine really brings this ancient ruined world to life.

Fans of the Far Cry series should feel at home in Primal. It’s more familiar than different, even though the environment and year would assume otherwise, so if you’re looking for more of the same but in a differently more of the samey way then it should do purrrrfectly.

The Good

- Intelligent AI
- Hunting/taming beasts
– Amazing visuals and immersive audio

The Bad

– Meh story, forgettable characters
– Repetitive melee combat
– Spear sponging damage dummy bosses

The Verdict

Huge props for Ubisoft to veer of its 'typical' FarCry formula and bring forth this gem of a game. However the gem in question is a sapphire, which in it's own right a precious stone but not engagement ring material.

7.5